Riordan manufacturing has requested an upgrade to their current human resources system. They currently have several disparate tools that are patched together in order to complete HR functions. Many Excel spreadsheets are used by different parts of HR, and combining all resources into one system can provide many time saving advantages and a more reliable system over all. By reviewing who the stakeholders are and what the best information-gathering techniques are we can ensure that we collect the information for the requirements and stay within the scope of the project.
Stakeholders Identifying the key stakeholders is an important part of the information gathering process. The key stakeholders in Riordan Manufacturing for gathering information for this project are: the payroll manager, Silvija Peterson, the compensation & benefits manager, Terri Carranza, the employee relations manager, Andrea Gamby, and the training and development specialist, Mari Carillo. This represents the management and daily users of the current HRIS and provides a good basis for what the requirements of the new system need to be (Apollo group, 2012).
Although not part of the human resource department, including a few of the programmer/analysts can provide key insight and documentation toward understanding the current system as well. Information-gathering Since Riordan Manufacturing is not a large organization, joint application design can provide great results. With the small number of people that will be in the meetings, JAD will be manageable and meetings will not drag on. Scheduling is one of the main downfalls of JAD, and with a small organization like Riordan it should be easily overcome.
Since most of the employees work in the same location and department scheduling a meeting to include all members will not present a great challenge. In addition to JAD meetings, direct observation of the human resource employees will give a true representation of what parts of the current system are used heavily, and what areas are causing the most problems. Going through existing documents and procedures will enhance the gathering process and provide more details about the current systems and organization that may be missed or forgotten by direct observation and JAD meetings (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, Chapter 6, 2012 ).
Going through the existing Excel spreadsheets can provide information about human resources is currently gathering, and what reports will provide the most value. Key factors A key factor during observation to help ensure that the information gathered is accurate is to make sure that the people do not know that they are being observed. People often modify their activities if they know that someone is watching them. Since a large amount of time is invested in observation, it is important that it represents what users actually do on a daily basis and not just what users think they should be doing.
Ensuring that the information gathered from documents is useful can be more difficult. Often the original author is not available for interview, leaving the document open for interpretation by the reader. Documentation may also be outdated and only provide an image of what the system was instead of what the system is. With many of the reports and documentation kept in Excel at Riordan this is not likely the case. Controlling a meeting during JAD to keep it on track is key as well. Meetings can easily get off track, and divert to topics of little importance.
Building a prototype is the best way to ensure that requirements are being met. A prototype gives the users a chance to work with the analysts and determine whether or not the new system is meeting expectations. Scope and feasibility Project scope is the box that the project fits in (Mochal, 2007). It defines the deliverables, the boundaries, and the business requirements. The deliverables for Riordan Manufacturing are to create a detailed system design that integrates existing HR tools into a single integrated application.
Full implementation should be completed in six months. The boundaries are the human resource system. Crossing over into design or inclusion of other departments such as accounting or sales would be out of scope. The business requirements are that the system is to be a single system instead of the multiple tools they are using now. The other business requirement is more vague, only stating that they would like to take advantage of more sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology.
Project feasibility is determining if the technical, economical, and operational factors of the project can be accomplished under the schedule given. Technical looks at what hardware and software are available compared to what the requirements of the project are. Economic compares the cost of the overall project to what is budgeted and what can be justified by potential financial returns. Operational factors examine if the system will receive support from the people that use it and make it work (“System Development Life Cycle”, 1998).
In order to successfully accomplish the goal of integrating the variety of HR tools into a single system according to the service request of Riordan Manufacturing the first thing that must be done is recognizing the stakeholders. This provides the people that will give the best information. From there, using the best information gathering techniques for the situation will ensure that time is not wasted on gathering, and time is not wasted focusing on the wrong requirements.
Paying attention to the key factors of information gathering helps ensure that the true requirements for the new system are found and addressed. Building a prototype based off of the information gathered makes sure that the development stays on track with what Riordan wants as well. Recognizing what the limits are ensures that the project stays on task. Explaining what the scope of the project is helps determine if the project is possible with the given parameters.
Apollo Group, Inc. (2012). Riordan Manufacturing. Human Resources.. Retrieved from BSA/310 – Business Systems course website. Mochal, T. (2007). Define project scope to include deliverables, boundaries, and requirements. Retrieved from http://www. techrepublic. com/blog/project-management/define-project-scope-to-include-deliverables-boundaries-and-requirements/151 System development life cycle. (1998). Retrieved from http://spot. pcc. edu/~rerdman/sysdevellifecycle. html Valacich, J. S. , George, J. F. , & Hoffer, J. A. (2012). (5th ed. ). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.